Home Ec

Home Ec: How to Keep a Clean Home

by Grace Bonney


Today is the very first post in a new and ongoing series on our site called Home Ec. Inspired by the classes some of us grew up taking, these new posts will be about simple ways to keep your home functional and beautiful and working to meet the needs of your family. Whether that means mastering the art of decluttering, making spaces pet-friendly, finding ways to keep kids’ rooms clean or just making tidying up easier, these posts are about finding ways to help make your home make you happy. There is never (ever) one right way to do things and there is no home or home plan that is perfect for every person. These posts are intended, much like Modern Etiquette, to help share some trusted guidelines that you can use, or tweak, to suit your needs.

I was SO happy to see all of your requests and ideas for upcoming columns, so please stay tuned for those topics soon. But first I wanted to start with a topic that’s near, although not always dear, to my heart: cleaning. To be quite honest, I don’t love cleaning. I am someone who has both learned to live somewhat minimally (so messes are less likely to happen) and someone who is pretty okay with things being piled up here and there and getting to the dishes when I have time. But I genuinely understand and embrace the idea that a clean, tidy house is one that helps you feel relaxed and restored at home. When the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day team sent me a copy of their “no-nonsense” clean home book, I gravitated toward one section of the book immediately: A quick and easy guide of what to clean in your home and how often. Broken down by frequency (i.e.: once a day, once a year), the book made all of the household chores on my list feel less like a burden and more like a simple guideline of things to do. Because let’s be honest, not everyone has time to mop the floors and scrub the sinks every day. But once a week? That might be doable.

No matter what frequency is right for you, this easy, downloadable guide is designed to help you have a map to follow when you have the time to spruce things up a bit. Whether you’re just spraying down your counters or getting down and dirty with your tile floors, it’s always true that chipping away a little bit every day always makes things a little easier. So I hope this starter guide will help you feel more in control of things at home and help make messes feel less overwhelming. Remember: no one, and no home, is perfect. If you can only get to one of these things on this list, it’s better than none. And it gets you one step closer to feeling like you can come home, drop your bags at the door and feel relaxed and calm. xo, grace

Download the printable guide here!





This post and the Home Ec section are brought to you by Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day. Visit the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Home-Grown Inspiration section featuring 20 DIYs, including seven from Design*Sponge!

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    • Cleaning now for over 30 years professionally
      And I still love it. Relaxes me. No stress for me. But my body is now. structurally going down the tubs. Very hard work for certain. But still do some. A few private homes.
      Still love it especially in my own home.

  • Very useful to do home cleaning in an organised way without too much stress and without leaving any aspect unattended

    • Hi Sue

      I just checked & the link at the bottom of the post worked fine for me. I’ve downloaded it and am sending it to your email address.

      Happy cleaning!


      • Hi Caitlin, can I have a copy too please? I also can’t download the printable copy. Thanks much appreciated.

  • Thanks you, a very useful list. Personally, I would be checking the fridge for expired items a little oftener than every season.

  • I’ve downloaded the list and printed it to put it on my fridge. I really need to learn how to keep things clean and tidy; at least that’s what my mother says :).

  • Love your blog or business. This has made me start journeying, something I have always wanted to do, but was so busy working and raising my children. And even though they are adults I am still helping two of them and I only have three. LOVE YOUR DESIGN×SPONGE.

    • Yes!! I so agree that I need to hire someone to do this list! Am I the only one who works all day? This is the last “to do” list I needed. It is only relaxing to clean if you have the time! It is grudge work that keeps you up all night for the rest of us. Sorry to be the Negative Nelly, but that is reality for many of us.

  • I completely agree with you!. With too many things just lying around, a home cannot be cleaned properly, let alone regarded as well-organised. I like to think of decluttering as a warm-up for the real cleaning whenever I tackle chores. It allows me to see what needs to be done exactly and sometimes even shows that things are not in fact as bad as they seem.

    • I have several vacuum cleaners upright and hand held, have trouble with them all. What do you recommend?

  • Great Information about how to keep clean our home. I bookmarked your article link and definitely follow your suggestion to keep clean my home.

  • Good job this is so well put together. I work with people with disiblitys and will use this with them thanks catherine

  • After I originally lef a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox
    and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service?
    Than you!

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